NCAA

No. 24 Terps struggle again at home, fall to unranked Iowa 83-69

No. 24 Terps struggle again at home, fall to unranked Iowa 83-69

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Freshman Jordan Bohannon scored a career-high 24 points, hitting 8 of 10 3-pointers, to help Iowa breeze past fading No. 24 Maryland 83-69 Saturday night.

Tyler Cook had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (16-13, 8-8 Big Ten), who improved to 2-7 on the road this season. Iowa led by seven at halftime and erased any shred of suspense by taking a 16-point lead with 10:28 remaining.

The Hawkeyes went 16 for 26 beyond the arc in avenging a home loss to Maryland on Jan. 19.

Bohannon came in averaging 9.2 points per game and shooting 37 percent from 3-point range. Cook, who's also a freshman, scored only eight points in the first meeting between the teams.

Kevin Huerter scored 13 points for Maryland (22-7, 10-6). Since opening 20-2, the Terrapins have lost five of seven and three in a row.

Eager to rebound from a home loss to Minnesota, the Terrapins came out flat against an Iowa team that had beaten only Rutgers on the road.

Maryland's biggest lead was two points, and the Terps never led after relinquishing a 24-23 advantage midway in the first half.

Maryland went 11 for 34 from 3-point range and took only nine free throws.

Cook scored 15 points and Bohannon drilled four 3-pointers to help Iowa take a 47-40 halftime lead.

The Hawkeyes went 8 for 12 from beyond the arc, outrebounded Maryland 20-14 and limited standout guard Melo Trimble to three points on 1-for-5 shooting.

Huerter opened the second half with a 3-pointer to give the crowd hopes of a comeback, but Bohannon nailed three 3s in a 10-1 spurt that made it 58-44.

Trimble finished with 10 points, going 1 for 9 from beyond the arc.

March Madness 2019: Five upset picks to avoid during opening weekend

March Madness 2019: Five upset picks to avoid during opening weekend

Picking First Round upsets in the 2019 NCAA Tournament is easy. One could probably pick all the low seeds in the 5-12, 6-11, 7-10, and 8-9 matchups and win at least 40 percent of the time. 

The only difference is that you want to pick the correct upsets in your bracket. 

There are some match-ups though that you should stay far, far away from. Some upsets that sound good on paper or on television, which just don’t make sense. 

So, while filling out your bracket to try and get far in your bracket pool, keep this nearby.

First Round

No. 14 Yale over No. 3 LSU
Yale advancing to the Second Round over LSU is going to be a popular upset pick this week. Without their coach Will Wade it appears that once a promising season for LSU will fall flat very soon in the NCAA Tournament.

Currently suspended by the school, Wade is not involved with the program as they prepare for their first tournament since 2015. With a cloud around the program it is easy to say the players will be distracted, unprepared and not ready to play on Thursday. 

Despite all of these things, there is no reason to pick Yale here. The coaching staff is still intact. It is the same coaching staff that got them to a No. 3 seed and becoming the No. 11 overall team in the country. They’ve already played two games without him, winning one and losing the other in the final minute. 

And it is not like Yale is a barnstorming mid-major team. They wouldn’t be here if they lost to Harvard on Sunday.

No. 13 UC Irvine over No. 4 Kansas State

This is going to be another popular upset pick among brackets. UC Irvine has won 16 straight games and boast a 30-win season coming into the tournament. They’re up against a slightly depleted Kansas State team, who might be without their second leading scorer Dean Wade. 

However, don’t be so quick to count out the Wildcats in this First Round matchup. They shared the Big 12 regular season title, breaking Kansas’ long streak of championships. 

Besides, they’ve already played without Wade this season. Kansas State went 4-2 in that stretch with only losses to Texas and Texas Tech. The team is also hopeful that he can play by this matchup on Friday. 

K-State probably won’t go far this year, but it won’t end in the First Round. 

No. 11 Saint Mary’s over No. 6 Villanova

Looking at Saint Mary’s win over Gonzaga one might jump on the Gaels bandwagon as they go into the NCAA Tournament. But, if anyone has learned anything about Jay Wright’s teams in recent NCAA Tournaments, his teams will go on a run. 

It might not be to the level of a National Championship run this year, but they match-up well against Saint Mary’s. 

Villanova has a balanced rotation of seven players getting everyone involved in the scoring. That’s juxtaposed to the Gales who don’t go much deeper than their starters. 

It’s always turned up a notch in the tournament for the Wildcats. This should be no different.  

No. 10 Seton Hall over No. 7 Wofford

Wofford is the mid-major to watch this tournament. All four of their losses this year are to teams in the NCAA Tournament and in their wins it has not even been close. 

Fletcher Magee is truly special, bringing home 20 points a contest while shooting 43 percent from behind the arc. His team averages 83 points a contest and last scored below 70 points back on Jan. 19.

They’re rolling on a 20-game winning streak and face against one of the up-and-down teams in college basketball this season. 

Seton Hall, while they have impressive wins, cannot be counted on to deliver in a big performance. 

You might look foolish if you have Wofford out in the First Round. 

Second Round

No. 7 Cincinnati/ No. 10 Iowa over No. 2 Tennessee

People will be high on Cincinnati to go on a run based on the manner they won the American this past week. In fact, of all of the No. 2 seeds Tennessee probably is the one many will feel uneasy about going far in the tournament. 

That is not to say though that the Volunteers will lose in the Second Round. As scrolling through tournament history one would notice that 2009 was the last time all No. 2 seeds made it to the Sweet 16. With Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State all holding the other spots, Tennessee will probably get the short end of the stick.

Tennessee will force the issue sometimes, but more often than not, it will work for them. All five of their starters can score and their top six can all score. Not many teams can play at their pace.  
 
No. 8 Mississippi/ No. 9 Oklahoma over No. 1 Virginia

Given Tony Bennett’s history in the NCAA Tournament, and the Cavaliers loss to UMBC in 2018, it is fair to question how far Virginia will go this season.

But keep in mind, Virginia is one of the best teams in the country. On the defensive end, there is no one better than the Cavaliers. They have only three losses, two to Duke and one to Florida State. 

Match-up wise there is no reason to pick Ole Miss or Oklahoma in this matchup. Virginia has a more complete team, better offensive balance, more experience, everything you need for a run. 

All of which will get them back into the Sweet 16 this season. 

MORE NCAA NEWS: 

Click here to join NBC Sports Washington’s NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge and compete against Wizards analysts Drew Gooden and Jimmy Patsos for a chance at great prizes.

Grand Prize: if you have the highest-scoring bracket in the NBC Sports Washington Bracket Challenge, you will win a 3-night trip for four people to Universal Resort, including round trip airfare, lodging, admission to Universal Studios and tickets to Blue Man Group.

Secondary Prize: If your bracket scores higher than both Drew Gooden and Jimmy Patsos, you win a coupon code for a free Jersey Mike's sub!

March Madness 2019: Five upset picks to make in the opening weekend

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March Madness 2019: Five upset picks to make in the opening weekend

First and Second Round upsets are what make March Madness so great.

Seeing some team that no one expected to win knock off a Power 5 team is why everyone loves this time of year. In some ways it’s the iconic David vs. Goliath.

Picking these upsets is a different conversation though. Everyone wants to be the expert that gets to say “I saw this upset coming.” They are hard to predict, another reason why we love it.

While picking First and Second Round upsets will not win you your bracket pool/ challenge, it can make a difference when the final votes are tallied.

These are some upsets that have a strong likelihood of coming to fruition during the first week of the NCAA Tournament.

First Round Upsets

No. 13 Saint Louis over No. 4 Virginia Tech

From afar this upset pick makes zero sense. Virginia Tech, who hails from the best conference in the country, has one of the most potent offenses that can catch fire at any moment. This was already on display in their upset victory over Duke back in February. Saint Louis is only in because they were left standing in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

But this is also a Hokie offense that can stutter (47 points in a WIN over NC State) and has Justin Robinson coming off an injury. Even without those obstacles, when they played a hard pressured defense this season it did not end well.

Enter Saint Louis.

They rode their defense through the A10 Tournament. A variety of defensive schemes, mainly a 1-3-1 zone, had them knock off Dayton, Davidson and St. Bonaventure to get to the big dance.

They will force the Hokies to shoot from 3pt range. And with the Hokies’ hot-and-cold offense they are bound to have an off game.

No. 11 Belmont over No. 6 Maryland

As many Terrapins’ fans know this is a team that is capable of making a run to the Sweet 16 or beyond OR they will lose painfully in the First Round.

The latter is their future if Belmont is their opponent.

As the second highest scoring team in the country they average 87.4 points per game. Not only do they have a formidable challenger to Bruno Fernando/ Jason Smith in Dylan Windler, but they have reinforcements. Two other players average over 14 points a contest in both the backcourt and the paint.

Belmont is good and likely would be a better seed if they had a schedule comparable to Power 5 teams.

Only twice has Maryland scored more than Belmont’s averages this season. They were against Loyola (MD) and Mount St. Mary’s back in December and November.

No. 12 Oregon over No. 5 Wisconsin

The Ducks have won eight consecutive games (albeit to Pac-12 opponents) to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Less than a handful of teams can say that much.

Early in the season the Ducks were a preseason favorite with 7-foot-2 Bol Bol on their roster. An injury in mid-December derailed their season until a late push stole them a bid.

Instantly they are a mismatch with four players standing at 6-9 in the starting lineup. While Wisconsin has Ethan Happ and Nate Reuvers, they will have their hands full in the paint. Their depth behind that is a big concern. 

Oregon is a dangerous and unpredictable team that no one wants to face.

No. 12 Murray State over No. 5 Marquette

Both of these teams are essentially one man wrecking bands with Ja Morant on Murray State and Markus Howard on Marquette.

But only one of them is fully healthy.

Howard recently aggravated a left wrist injury from earlier in the season. In Marquette’s last game in the Big East Tournament he shot 1-for-15 in a loss to Seton Hall.

If Howard cannot play at 100 percent, somebody on the Golden Eagles will have to match NBA Draft prospect Morant on the Racers.

Second Round

No. 6 Iowa State over No. 3 Houston

Hard to get too ahead of the games, but assuming Iowa State and Houston make it to the Second Round, the Cyclones have a great chance at an upset.

Both of these teams have recent appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Both have a veteran presence on their squad. But one school went through the powerhouse that is the Big 12 and the other went through to the AAC.

The Cyclones last three games were in route to the Big 12 title, over Baylor, Kansas State and Kansas. Houston’s was UConn, Memphis and a loss to Cincinnati; a big difference.

If Iowa State’s trio of talented guards can break through the Cougars’ defense, watch out.

MORE NCAA TOURNAMENT NEWS:

Click here to join NBC Sports Washington’s NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge and compete against Wizards analysts Drew Gooden and Jimmy Patsos for a chance at great prizes.

Grand Prize: if you have the highest-scoring bracket in the NBC Sports Washington Bracket Challenge, you will win a 3-night trip for four people to Universal Resort, including round trip airfare, lodging, admission to Universal Studios and tickets to Blue Man Group.

Secondary Prize: If your bracket scores higher than both Drew Gooden and Jimmy Patsos, you win a coupon code for a free Jersey Mike's sub!